Saturday, December 14, 2013

December 9, 2013

Things I learned this week:
1. Heavenly Father is a God of miracles
Sonia's daughter Maria (Sonia was baptized with her grandson, Maria's son, in November) has been coming to church, and we teach her every week. We invited her to be baptized last week, really thinking she would say yes, but she said no, not yet. (satan really is an idiot). We were really suprised, and really sad for her. Two days later we went and taught again, and she was really different. Before, ever since we first met her, she was always sad, and complained about her hardships to us all the time. To be honest, i didnt love being around her. When we went and visited last Monday, she was SO different. She was happy, laughing, and so great to be around, and SHE WANTS TO BE BAPTIZED! And to make it better, she wants to be baptized on my birthday!! Ever since she made the decsion, she has been to peaceful and happy about life. She is just another testimony to me that God lives, Christ died for all of our pains, sorrows, afflictions, hardships, happiness, and sins. As soon as we soften our hearts and allow Him to help us, we can see miracles in our lives, like Maria. (photo 1: The night she told us she wanted to be baptized. Wani, Sonia, Maria, and Pablo)
2. Christmas isnt really about Christ anymore to most of the world.
Did everyone watch the first presidency broadcast? Thanks to the Hodgmans, we watched it in English! It made me realize how much people forget to celebrate Christ, the WHOLE reason Christmas is even a holiday. I love what.. i think it was Elder Nelson that said, if we really want to celebrate Christmas, give gifts that Christ would give. SERVE people, HELP people in need, LOVE people. Give them ETERNAL gifts. The Christmas tree here in San Marcos has a rooster on top, because here, the beer is called "Gallo" (rooster), if that tells you anything.
3. Spanish is really hard when you have a North American companion}
4. If you put an herb called "Barro" in your hair, it grows longer and stronger.. i tried it.  You blend the leaves with water, but i realized that you probably can strain the leaves out and just use whats left so you dont get small pieces of leaves all over the shower and bathroom. Things you have to learn the hard way.
So I died last week. On Monday I started getting a cold, and on Tuesday i was a mess. (i know mom, i wish you were here too!) I literally layed in my bed the whole day, and got up only to shower and use the bathroom. It was so boring. I didnt eat anything because all i had was all either dairy, or sugary. I think my cold was just Heavenly Father answering my prayers. Last week i was praying and mentioned that it really sucks that i've been gaining weight, then when i was sick i realized how unhealthy my diet is and that i need to buy better things! Point taken, thanks!
On Friday I got a package from Brittany!! It was so sweet THANK YOU!!! My desk is nicely decorated now :)

I'm finally starting to realize that im a missionary and living in a different country. I love it here, love the people, and love the work. I know this gospel is true, I know from my own experiences, and from literally seeing it change people's lives. Thank you for all of your prayers, emails, and letters! They mean so much to me!
Hermana Terry

Passed out Drunk.  He was still in same position 4 hours later!
Sack Lunch anyone?
I'm getting Brave.  Turkey face kisses!

Add caption
Thank you Brittany!!!
Barro makes the hair grow longer.

Photo 1 from above letter.

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 1, 2013

After having the worst nights sleep ever, thinking it would be the last time I'd  get to sleep with blankets piled on me for the rest of my mission, and watching the zone leader put my name on the board for changes, I DIDNT HAVE CHANGES! I get to stay here for another change! I'm soo excited. At our district/zone meeting that day, we had a live turkey. Yes, the turkey we would be eating two days later. I was about to kill the elders because they were being so mean to it! But i'm learning SO MUCH PATIENCE with those kids. Since I didnt have changes, and my comp didnt either, i'm pretty sure I wont have that whole "i knew spanish after about 6 months" status like everyone always tells me. President promised me a latina comp next change so cross your fingers! Oh yeah, my District Leader Elder Salazar finished his mission! He was so funny! It was pretty sad
On wednesday the elders all went to the killing of the poor turkey. They named him "Pilgram Young". On Thursday morning, Hermana Hodgman cooked him right up. Oh, i forgot to mention that it pooped and had a TON of worms on tuesday.. but so far so good! We had our zone meeting Thursday, and the elders thought it would be super funny to put the turkey head in my bag. It was super funny, and SO GROSS! They finally got me to touch it. NASTY.
Guatemala is super wierd. I think they always have random holidays. On Friday, EVERYONE was out and about, in the streets, everywhere except their houses. Saturday, NO ONE was in the streets, in their houses, nada. I have no idea where they went. We literally only had three lessons the whole day. Oh, speaking  of holidays, there is a tradition here, i think i mentioned it before. On Thursday and Saturday nights, people go to the big park dressed up as devils. If they see you, they tell you to run, and if they catch you they hit you with a stick. Beforehand, they dance in the park and people go and watch, then the craziness happens. Its from nov. 7th-dec 7th, and on the 8th they "burn the devil". At first you think, what the heck how is this legal? Then you remember you're in Guatemala.
People here are SUCH HARD WORKERS! They literally carry 60lds on their heads, and another 60 on their backs, UP HILL! Hermana Nielsen and I used to complain about walking up our huge hills, but then we always see this guy with one leg and crutches doing it, or someone carrying a million things on their back and head. we dont complain anymore.
I listen to conference talks almost every mornin g now. There is seriously no better way to start the day. One of my favoites is Elder Holland's "Safety for the Soul". I want to be able to bare testimony as strong as he does.
Today for pday we went to a members house and played volleyball and ate lunch. Oh, and watch a rooster be killed. The elders loved it, i almost cried. THey literally twisted its head all the way around. I am so glad i didnt grow up on a farm!
Im thankful for my area, and am SO excited to be here for Christmas! Thank you for all of your emails and letters! They mean the world to me:)
Oh, and for a good machete, read Alma 5. 
Love, Hermana Terry

Pictures coming in an hour...To be continued!

November 18, 2013

This week went by SO FAST! I swear I was just emailing like yesterday. ANYWAY, SONIA AND PABLO GOT BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!! It was sooo cool. It was a crazy morning, I swear Satan works hardest on baptism and confirmation days. Sonia is the best person and was so excited and ready to be baptized. I was worried about Pablo getting baptized, that he wouldnt want to get in the water, but he was SO EXCITED too! When he came up out of the water, he had the most surprised, and excited look on his face! He's so funny. The baptism went really well, hermana nielsen and I sang a baptism primary song with the other hermanas that live with us, but i cant remember the name in english, Its the "i like to look for rainbows" song. The baptism reminded me why I am on a mission, it's amazing the change the gospel has in peoples lives. 

We went to a funeral this week of a member's dad, hermana nielsen had to play the piano. I hate funerals, PLEASE DONT DIE WHILE IM GONE!

Last sunday, a member of our ward told us he wanted to feed us that week, and we were like, yeah ok! ANd he was like, ok i'll invite Oscar. Now, there are two Oscars in our ward, a middle aged Oscar, and a 6 months off his mission Oscar. We had no idea which one he meant. He ended up taking us to Dominos with young Oscar, and it was really weird. I think he was trying to set him up with one of us.. people here.

Today for pday we went to the Quetzal refuge. A quetzal is a famous bird here, and several things are named after it, like the money (quetz) and a big city, Quetzaltenango, and even the boy scouts. They dont become eagle scouts, they become Quetzal Scouts (im not sure if thats true, someone could have been lying to me). Anyway, Quetzals (ket-sals) are a big deal, so we went to the Quetzal Refuge today as a zone. We had to hike for a while in this jungle, which was super fun, and we actually saw a Quetzal! (everytime missionaries have gone they havent seen one) They are SO beautiful and have long feathers, look it up. There were also waterfalls and scary bridges and all sorts of jungle things, I love Guatemala! We lost some of the elders on our hike back, and they literally got lost for a few hours. I've learned to have so much patience with these baby elders. 

I'm becoming used to weird things here. I was going to make a list in my journal of weird things, but now I cant even think of any! Whats wrong with me? I cant wait to train a gringa one day so i remember all of the things so i can write them down.

I found a scripture the other week that i LOVE. Its in the Bible, in John 14:18, Its when Christ is talking to the twelve apostles and is hinting that he's about to die. He says "I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you." I LOVE IT! Because its true, He won't leave any of us comfortless. ALL we have to do is seek for him. Why do we make it so hard? Heavenly Father and Christ promise us several times in the Bible and Book of Mormon that they will love us, and we just need to come unto them. I am so thankful to be a missionary right now. I am so grateful for the relationship I get to build with God, I am loving Guatemala more and more everyday and the people here. 

love you all! :)

Last weeks email that didn't go thru...
Happy Birthday Helen and Dick! I wish i was home to celebrate!!

Last week we got to do such a fun service project! The zone leaders have an investigator with property farther up the mountains and he needed his corn folded. (It literally means what it sounds like. we went to a corn field and folded the corn stalks in half. it dries it out)We went to an area about 20 minutes away to his other house that he rents out to the cutest famly! They were so fun. Their house is one room i think, and they live in the middle of NOWHERE. It was so much fun, the people here are so amazing and such hard workers. The other day we helped a lady carry her bags up a hill, and we each only carried one, and they were so heavy! She was carrying both by herself and i was struggling with just one. Why is north america so lazy?
Hermana Nielsen and I were contacting the other day, and we knocked on the door or a reference we got. They have this cute dog that hops on his hind legs so he can see us over the little fence, so i was talking to the dog, then looking at the street, then went to look at the dog again but this lady was standing there! It scared me so bad i jumped, and said "oh my gosh you scared me" in english though.. so obviously she didnt understand. She looked SUPER familiar but i couldnt think of why. We asked her to see the lady that lived there but the lady "wasnt home". We walked away and hermana nielsen recognized her too. I thought we had seen her in a different house and hna nielsen thought we had seen her in the street before. We went to contact someone else who also "wasnt home" so we went to pass for an investigator who lived on the same street. We knocked on the door and THE SAME LADY from the other house answered! It was soo funny. we were like "um.. is Gabby home?" She told us no and we walked away and just started laughing. Apparentlty this lady works at both houses and can teleport! We ran to the house of the reference where we had seen her 10 minutes earlier, just to see if she would be there again, but she wasnt.
I always forget to pray when I eat somwhere thats not a memeber7investigators house or not my own. We went to Reu this week for a meeting, and I got to hangout with Hermana Minnick the whole time! THey always feed the people in the meeting and their poor comps (minnick and I) who have to wait. We got our food and brought it to the room we were waiting in, and started eating. Then 2 other hermanas come in with theirs and start praying and hermana minnick and i just look at each other with an "oh crap" expression and close our eyes and counted their prayer for us too. Speaking of, Latinos use words from the US here like "crap" and "super". Its so funny.
Thursday was Halloween, and we had a zone meeting. so we started the meeting at 8, so we had time to carve pumpkins after! I didnt know they had pumkins here.  It was so fun, the latinos had never carved pumkins before, they loved it. Afterwards we watched Nightmere before Christmas. Im not sure if thats a halloween movie or a christmas movie. It was a really fun day, but the next day is the holiday for catholics called The Day of the Dead. They paint the graves of their family that has passed on the 31st, then visit them on the 1st and bring the dead people food and im not quite sure what else. EVERYONE (well, all the catholics) get super drunk and close all the stores and go to the cemetaries. Its a really interesting holiday. EVeryone who isnt catholic goes on vacation or flies kites. EVERYONE is flying kites right now, its so funny, they are selling them everywhere and you always see kites in the sky. I guess they always do it in novemeber. We went with our ward mission leader, his family, and the other elders to fly kites (NO ONE was home for us to teach). THe kites here are so different! We went to this big field that a bunch of other people also went to to fly the kites. The family was super nice and bought us a pastery someone was selling there. It was SO DISGUSTING! It was fried bread with gooey stuff inside, but i think they used the same pan with the same greece they made breakfast with, because it tasted AWFUL! Afterwards, my stomach hurt really bad, with something we like to call "boo". Its where you wish you just had to throw up cause you can do that anywhere, but no, you need a bathroom. Of course we were in this random field in the middle of nowhere for about TWO more hours, and i just sat there ready to die any minute now. We FINALLY got home and i used our bathroom and it was fine. LAter we were out proselyting (trying, no one was home) and my stomach started to hurt again. I usually dont mind living 20 minutes from our area, but when you have boo, and you have to walk home, its reallly hard. If you walk to slow, you'll never make it home in time, but if you walk too fast, you'll need a bathroom faster. it was the hardest, longest walk of my life! We got home and decided to stay in for the rest of the night. Note to self: dont eat pasteries in the kite field.
I have balance issues. Every monday when we play sports as a zone and i try to turn, i end up falling. Today we played soccer, and i was killing the latinos, it was great. Until no one was near me and i turned around fast and flat out slid accross the field. Later some elders were throwing around the football and one smacked me right in the eye. It was a really embarassing day.
We only have our 5 investigators still. THey are so awesome and are so excited to be baptized. The Lord works in mysterious ways. When you humble yourself and follow his commandments, the blessings just pour in. I didnt bring the scriptures i read this week that i wanted to share because i didnt realize we were coming to write! Next week.
We had a movie night with our ward and watched The Croods. has anyone seen it? ITS SO FUNNY! not in spanish, who knows what it was saying in spanish. Hna neilsen and i made popcorn the whole time so we didnt get to watch it, but we got permission to bring it home and watch it onthe dvd player we use for training dvds. AND IT HAD THE OPTION TO WATCH IT IN ENGLISH! what a blessing. its such a funny movie and we had a really good turn out.
not much is new. i learn like one new word a day. slow but steady! 

Mom, I got my bday package 2 weeks ago!!  I started to open it, then saw a clown bday card and realzied it was for my bday so closed it up, bought wrapping paper, and wrapped it all cute :) I also hid it so I dont have to stare at it for another month and a half.
ALso, I LOVE the padded socks you sent me!! THANK YOU!!!!

November 11, 2013

Friends: I changed my mind. Email me and i will send you hand written letters:)

Hello!! Its been a good,bad,funny,disappointing,miracle kind of week. You know, the usual. SO I have this awesome investigator Sonia (she's the one who had been robbed like 7 years ago then missionaries helped get her a bunch of things for her house, then she went to church and took the lessons but got sick and stopped going) Anyway, she is so awesome, I love her so much. She lives with her daughter and two grandkids in this little apartment. A lot of people here in San Marcos are pretty wealthy, but you still have your poor families. Her family is VERY VERY poor. She was supposed to get baptized on Saturday, but her sister passed away two days before, and she went to Xela (shayla) for the funeral and couldnt make it. Her daughter and grandkids couldnt go because they had probably spent all they had on the bus ticket down for Sonia. We were so sad for her. Sonia is seriously the sweetest person. On Sunday we went to pass for a reference who said she wanted to go to church with us, but her grandma answered and didnt look happy to see us, and told us her granddaughter was "at school" which was a big fat lie. So we went to church with no investigatos. Hermana Nielsen plays the piano and can see the whole congregation, so after the sacramanet was passed she sits down next to me and said "Hermana Sonia is here!" WHATTTT!! She is the best person in the world. She has sooo much faith. Its people like her that remind me why I am here serving a mission, she is such a great example to me. She wasnt supposed to be back from Xela yet, but she didnt want to miss church. She always brings her 9 year old grandson, Pablo. They were both there. We were so excited to see them. SHe was so sad she missed the baptism on Saturday and really wants to get baptized this week, WITH her grandson! Tender mercy. Everything happens for a reason. They are so excited to get baptized together. His mom and sister want to get baptized too, but havent been able to make it to church yet. They are both coming next Sunday though. 
Pablo is so funny. He is kind of a different kid, is 9 but acts 5, but hes so awesome. He LOVES church, but I always have to bribe him with things like punching balloons (thanks mom!)  to go to his own class instead of staying with us. I love their family so much.
So here in Guatemala everyone greets everyone with a kiss on the cheek. Except the missionaries. We kiss the girls and shake the hands of the men.  Anytime we go anywhere, especially a church or mission activity or meeting, we have to kiss and shake EVERYONE'S hand when we get there and when we leave. If we see someone we know in the store or the street, we go over and kiss them and say hi. Ok, you get the picture. So the other day, Hermana Nielsen and I are walking home for lunch, and we say hi to these girls we were about to pass (we say hi to EVERYONE). One girl looked excited like we knew her, I assummed she was in our stake, so i kissed her cheeck and hugged her, then Hermana Nielsen, looking super confused, kissed her too. THen as we were walking away we realized.. we dont think we actually knew her at all, and she was probably thinking, i just kissed the two white girls.. oops
People die their chickens here. Its really weird. I dont completely understand why, i just know the green one is a boy and the pink one is a girl! We went to a members house in our ward for a Family Home Evening, and since i usually don t have a lot to contribute to the lesson, i pull out my balloons so the family knows i exist.
People LOVE looking at our pictures here. I carry around pictures of my family, and they LOVE looking at them. The other night we were at Noche de Hermanamiento (tuesday nights the ward gets together at the chirch and a different family teaches the lesson each week) I pulled my pitures out to show this lady in my ward moms hair (cause her dad was an albino, so she is  white and has the same hair as you Mom! grey infront and everything!) then EVERYONE came over and looked through all of my pictures. Its so funny, they especially love the pictures of Gavy and Porter because they are blondies with blue eyes.
The Hodgemans are the best. As always, I dont know what i would do without them. They are my parents away from home. They feed Hermana Nielsen and I on sundays. Last night it was cheese burgers and icecream cones and cookies. I love them!
I love  Guatemala, spanish is coming along. Somedays I realize I know how to speak spanish, then i plateu and dont learn anything new, then the next week i realized i can speak even more. Im not great, but its getting better and I can understand soo much more!
I hear the Jazz are doing awful... i guess its a good year to not watch basketball.
I hear the Seahawks are amazing. Im not suprised at all. They're from Seattle!! 

October 21,2013

God knows us so well, I have seen his hand in my life so much, especially since i have been on the mission. On thursday we had this things called "attack of the area" when all the missionaries in our zone, and ward memebers, all contact in our area for 2 hours. I went with hermana beckstrand and a girl from my ward. We knocked on this door whos house id knocked on dseveral times, but no one ever answers. THey answered and we asked if we could share a message, and i didnt understand what he was saying. then he asked in ENGLISH "so where are you from?" i was like.. what! Um, seattle, can you please say that all again in english, i didnt quite get it. when can we come back? hge said he used to be a member, and wants God in his life again. But he asked if we could come back in the morning so his non member friend could listen to! I was like.. um YES!! We recieved so many good references from everyone that night. The next morning we went out and committed three of the refrences to baptism. We are so blessed. Prayer works, God hears every word of them.
So a lot of spanish words sound alike, like hambre (hungry) and hombre (man)
re. I always get them mixed up. The other day we were home for lunch and we get a knock on the door, a kid was selling a amall piece of pineapple. we arent allowed to buy things off the street so i said, "lo siento, no tengo hombre" which means, im sorry, i dont have a man. oops.
then we were walking with the elder to get chocolate covered bananas, and i said, "yo quiero enanos de chocolate" which means dwarfs of chocolate. . its just chocobananaos. spanish is so hard sometimes!
I love the Hodgemans. THey are the best!! We had lunch and dinner at their house this week. Hermana Hodgeman is such a good cook! We had blts for lunch and spagetti for dinner. they love the hermanas, and we love them. We would die without them!

guatemalan things:
people dont have car seats, they just hold their kids int eh car. the kids like it though, we hsould try it in the states
people always seat 4 people to a motorcyce, including 10 day old babies.they have no fear
they eat bread and tortillas with eeverything and think its crazy when i tell them we dont in the states
the garbage people come at 6:30am and you have to take your trash out and wait for them so the dogs dont eat it.

Thank you for all the letters!
Love, Hermana Terry

October 7, 2013

This week was interesting. Tuesday I went to Reu with my comp and the Zone leaders for their leadership meeting. ( i got to hangout with hermana phillips again during their meeting!) we Have to take public transportaion down there. This is a good time to tell you about the busses. THey are literally insane. I wonder if you can look up pictures of them. They are school busses from the US but they paint them crazy., The drive to REU is long and windy down the mountain. The busses go SOOO fast down the mountain, around the corners, its so scary. Oh, and they pass people around blind corners all the time..i dont understand why we dont die (sorry mom, breathe). So, we were on this crazy bus at 5am, and luckily it wasnt too full. around 6:30 hermana neilsen and i were feeling sick from the driving. i started thinking about what if i actually had to throw up. I couldnt go out the window because it would go all over the bus, i didnt know how to say "stop the bus!" and if i did we'd probably get stranded, and i had no bad to throw up in. I started praying for my stomach to feel better, when all the sudden it was worse. I look at hna. nielsen and tell her "i think i need to throw up". She threw down the window so fast and switched me seats so i was by the window. I threw up in my mouth (sorry) and look at her and shes like "out the window" then i threw up out the window, sat down, and repeated two more times. It was super gross, but it didnt get on the bus! and, i felt great after. my zone leader was sitting behind me and laughed everytime i threw up.
So now im at the window seat, just watching out the window, when all the sudden i see a naked man (i dont know if this is appropriate for a missionary blog). It was really funny because he was showering outside, but it was like in a movie when there is an object perfectly covering what you dont need to see. His pila was a gift to me, and covered what would have made me throw up a fourth time. 
We have to switch busses in Xela (shayla), and its a huge bus area, and there is always a market ouside, then people come on the bus trying to sell you food, gum, etc. One guy comes on selling toothbrishes and toothpaste randomly, and my comp bought me some haha.
The other day we went to a members house for lunch and we helped her prepare things. She hands hermanan neilsen a bloody bag, and she looks inside and was like "ah, i knew it." i asked what it was and she wouldnt tell me. it was liver. yes, we had friend liver for lunch. How did it taste? i have no idea. I cut it into pieces small enough to swollow. Then the other pieces i masked with tamale. I usually hate tamale, but i'd never been so grateful for it.
Later we went to invite a menos activo to confrence, and we walk up her stairs and see these two birds with red paint on them. only, it wasnt paint, they were SUPER bloody! She told us they had a small dog who started ripping at them. I pictured this evil small dog, and they bring out the CUTEST puppy ever!!!
We have a new investigator!! Her name is Marjory, she is SO awesome! We taught her on Saturday after conference, and she brought a notebook and took notes, then she came to conference on Sunday! She came with her friend, who actually brought us our other investigator (who i think doesnt want to get baptized : ( ) But she is so great. i love her!
I thought i was understandingh spanish more, but then i just found out that this lady who we visit a lot, (her husband is an inactive member and shes not a member, and they have two cute little daughters) is actually the inactive member. her husband is the one who isnt a member. i just found this out and we have been visiting her since i got here. she brought up temples and the word of wisdom and i though "oh my gosh... wait, i think she might want to hear the lessons!" then hermana nielsen told me shes a member. so yeah.. spanish is getting better, but im still clueless unless its gospel related.

the other day we were passing the futbol field and we see this blonde girl getting icecream. there is no reason for a blonde white girl to be in san marcos.. I decided she was from utah and was with her husband or boyfriend visiting his mission. it turns out she is from utah, and shes with her boyfriend visiting his grandparents. the guys brother came to a baptism (he is also visiting). i knew it. there are no blonde people here!
so the other night after my shower, i turned the water off and then the shower heard sparked.. the water heater is BUSTED! :( luckily i washed my hair, because there was NO WAY I was going to wash it in ice water! but then i had to today cause it was still broken :( ITS SOO COLD! but its been warm outside lately. The top of my feet are tan. thats about it though.
Thank you for all the letters and emails!